Natasha Exelby has paid a high price for her weekend blooper, after the humorless management at ABC24 banned the newsreader from playing any future on-air role.
Exelby, who only recently returned from a foreign correspondent and anchor role with Turkish broadcaster, TRT World, was today told she has been axed from newsreading duties, after being caught off guard during a live news shift on Sunday.
In the clip, which has since gone viral, the former Wake Up! co-host is seen looking startled as she suddenly realizes the cameras have returned to her after a prerecorded package has finished.
It’s a slip-up almost every newsreader in the world has committed but rarely costs the TV presenter their on-air job.
SBS newsreader Janice Petersen tweeted a screen grab of herself caught putting lipstick on while live, writing in solidarity: “it happens”.
Sky News political reporter Samantha Maiden celebrated the human error, telling her Twitter followers: “that’s @NatashaExelby and she’s awesome. She’s too much for @ABCmediawatch. Too fabulous.”
Exelby told News Corp “it would be inappropriate for me to comment”.
Failing to respond to a request for confirmation Exelby was told today she would no longer be used in an on-air role, an ABC spokesman said in a statement: “Natasha Exelby is a casual contributor, not a staff member. She has been booked for occasional on-air shifts when needed, and also does other occasional shifts for the ABC News channel.
“Contributors work out their shifts with managers on a per needs basis. Details of individuals’ shifts are confidential to them and not something the ABC publicly comments on.”
News Corp is pursuing ABC management for further comment, addressing directly her removal from newsreading duties, either as a freelancer or otherwise.